Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Genre(s): R&B, Pop/Rock
Record label: Columbia
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2014’s Indigo Child EP woke all the echoes from Outkast’s four album career and so much more Dungeon Family and ATL goodness of yesteryear. However, with these new songs, we discover that Raury was also luxuriating in the back catalog of Arrested Development, and in truly diving into that folky something more, a 19-year old singing and rapping superstar has been born. The native of Stone Mountain, Georgia is possibly rap’s most earnest Southern voice, and in sounding and thinking like Andre 3000 is the voice we were missing to truly hearken the arrival of the alt-folk urban side of rap’s intriguing future.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. All we need is love. The premise isn't a new notion. From 1 Corinthians to The Beatles' 1967 revolutionary anthem, the love renaissance has permanently played an integral role in the artistic cause and the human condition. But welcomed now is a ….
It's easy to see why Raury was tapped to be the opening act for OutKast's recent reunion tour. On his new LP, All We Need, the ambitious young artist pays plenty of homage to his fellow ATLiens, who helped pave the way for modern hip-hop eclecticism. While the 19-year-old Raury isn't strictly a rapper like 'Kast were when they were his age, he does spit plenty of rhymes on All We Need, while also incorporating soul, funky, blues reggae and more.On "Forbidden Knowledge" (featuring a fiery Big K.R.I.T.), Raury sounds like a reincarnation of André 3000 when the elder MC was first wooing Erykah Badu, thanks to his raps about there being a "universe" in a young lady's afro.
Raury made his big debut in 2014 with the folk-leaning EP Indigo Child, which was anchored by its single and centerpiece "God’s Whisper". That EP was a daring first statement with soulful alternative rock jams supercut with real, recorded fights he had with his mother. It was stuffed with big ideas, but it often had trouble wrangling them. Still, it effectively established Raury as this sort of genre migrant who existed adjacent to the rap world without sounding much like it.
?For as much as we all relish genre blending, it takes a lot of gravitas to pull together wildly disparate sounds and influences into a cohesive project. On All We Need, Raury is at his best when he makes his hip-hop influences plainer on tracks like “Woodcrest Manor II” and “Trap Tears. ” Elsewhere, the 19 year-old artist sometimes gets drowned out by the weightiness of the themes he’s wrestling.
Part new “daisy age” flower child, part hard-hitting urban seer, 19-year-old Atlanta dweller Raury can do it all – rap, sing, play guitar and mix genres like Kanye West, an obvious forebear. On his TV debut on Stephen Colbert’s show last month, Raury wore a Mexico T-shirt to taunt fellow guest and Hispanophobe Donald Trump. This debut album proper follows last year’s celebrated Indigo Child mixtape and feels slightly anticlimactic.
Raury acts like a loose cannon. The 19-year-old Atlantan wants to inspire a “revolution”, and he’s building an army of fans who declare him to be a genius, someone capable of inspiring radical change. Music was what turned him round, he claimed when announcing debut ‘All We Need’. “I used to legit dislike myself… Hate lived in me and I didn’t know why,” he tweeted.
Earlier this year, 19-year-old rapper/revolutionary Raury said he was about to release “the best album of the year”, suggesting he might bring enlightenment to all mankind in the process; a more compelling mission than the usual “write good tunes”, but not as easy to achieve. It’s part flower-power protest, part stoner romance (think André 3000 circa The Love Below, or early NERD), but there are also misjudged moments of earnestness, such as Friends (featuring Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello), which is akin to MJ circa Earth Song in terms of its pledge for world peace. At times, Raury’s energy is more intriguing than his songwriting, and while the lack of cynicism in his lyrics is refreshing, you can’t help but question his decision to play the pop preacher – especially when he is also capable of making clever, cosmic funk tracks such as Forbidden Knowledge.
Last year, Georgia teenager Raury burst onto the scene with a kaleidoscopic debut project, Indigo Child, a batch of tunes with roots in folk, soul, hip-hop, and rock. The album art showed half of Raury’s vibrantly illustrated face, looking skyward; we were just getting to know him, but there were promising flashes of color, hints that he could ascend to the heights he was eyeing. The cover to his debut studio LP, All We Need, features a photo of the vocalist, shoulders up.
Stone Mountain, Georgia native Raury Tullis was only 19 -- a singing and rapping free spirit who cited the dissimilar likes of Andre 3000 and Bon Iver among his inspirations -- when he released All We Need, his first album for major-label Columbia. An EP that preceded this full-length offered a crazy quilt of slightly left-of-center folk, rap, and rock. Raury seemed like an artist in need of a merciless editor, or maybe just a label patient enough to allow for natural development.
Pharrell Williams and Kanye West have done untold work over the last decade and a half toward expanding hip-hop’s purview, helping to reconcile the political questioning and sociocultural searching of the 1980s with the manic excess and shameless posturing of the 1990s. Thanks to them, thoughtfulness and ostentation finally went hand in hand — one didn’t have to trade one revolution for the other. The arrival of Raury may mark the beginning of the inevitable reversal of that movement.
Throughout this hyped debut, vocalist-MC Raury expresses the need to find balance in life. So it’s fitting that his optimistic blend of rap, patchouli folk, and pop works as a counterpoint to the cynical, money-obsessed mentality of mainstream hip-hop. The 19-year-old is a millennial out of time; songs with gentle acoustic guitars, bright harmonies, and melodic choruses might have been embraced at Summer of Love campfires or ’70s soft-rock fests.
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